When one embarks on a cross-country trip, the last thing you would want to hear when you landed was that your father had a heart attack and was being rushed to the hospital. However, it happened for me this past Friday. I must admit that if it wasn’t for my friends and family—the amazing support system I’ve been blessed to have—my trip to the East Coast would have been wrought with despair, worry, and anger. Thanks to an incredible amount of encouraging responses on my Facebook wall, texts, Facebook messages, e-mails, Twitter Messages, and phone calls, my heart regained focus and I was able to walk into the weekend with a sense of balance and peace. He is doing better now, stabilized, and taking it easy as we prepare for his open heart surgery in 6 weeks. After getting the all-clear that I didn’t need to cancel my weekend plans to fly back to Texas, I was ready to shake off the panic and have a fun weekend!
When I met up with Jenny, Amanda, Jes, and Devon in Baltimore, I was ready for some fun and for an exciting weekend with some amazing new friends who shared a love of the quality music of Parachute with me! We had planned, and planned, and planned some more, and now it was time to just enjoy the ride! We started off the day in Baltimore with some mexican food and lots of laughs and just spent time getting to know each other more. Later in the evening, I was honored to be able to join Jenny for our interview with Parachute backstage at Ram’s Head Live! Here’s that video:
The show was amazing and the guys rocked the crowd, as they always do! One of the things I didn’t really appreciate was all the attitude coming from those who were up front with Devon and I. We were having fun singing along and dancing, and the girls behind us were giving us death glares. Clearly they were here to see the Plain White T’s because if they knew of Parachute, they would know that they were in for some bumpin’ jams to sing and dance along to. Also, there was a mom next to me who held up her hand to protect herself from my dancing, which was completely contained in my personal space. She also gave me a look like she was irritated. Let’s just say, the Baltimore crowd was nowhere near as fun or friendly as the ones I’d experienced in Spokane, Seattle, and Dallas. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten such an accumulation of death glares in my life. But it’s no big deal because I was still able to have fun and live in the moment partying it up at the show! My friend once asked me if I ever got sick of seeing Parachute perform so many times. That’s a no-brainer: NEVER!
What made this trip extra special was the people I got to share it with. We had so many fun experiences! One of my favorites was in Baltimore while we were waiting to meet up with any street-teamers who might show up to help us pass out fliers before the show. We were all hanging out at a fountain near the venue, and since it was empty, I decided to climb inside it and have some fun playing around. I climbed up on the cement structure inside it and then a random girl in a boat of a car pulled up in front of the fountain and yelled, “Get out of the pool!!” And we all lost it and laughed as I responded, “It’s not a pool! It’s a fountain!” I’m pretty sure the adrenaline rush I get from traveling and exploring new places enables me to bring my shenanigans like that to different cities I visit, where most people would rather mind their “P’s and Q’s” and act different from their norm. Or perhaps it’s because I grew up “Keeping Austin Weird.” The world may never know.
Our time in Philly was fun because we got to explore more of the downtown area and stop in some fun shops. We also got to see different members of the band walking around in the area and stopped to chat with them for a bit. The crowd that night at the show was MUCH more fun! We had gotten to meet some other Parachute fans while we waited in line and we talked about all of our show experiences and what we loved about the band. Jenny, Devon, and myself were up front for the show and we got to stand next to some other Parachute fans who shared our excitement for the show and it was great getting to enjoy the show with them! During the latter half of the show, I got to hang out with Amanda, Jes, and Jen in the bar area while Devon took a nap on one of the nearby couches. There was a lot of dancing and laughing going on in our vicinity so we partied the night away. After the show, I got to meet some more amazing fans and friends of the band and we even got to do some singing and dancing on the sidewalk (mainly to stay warm though)!
Another highlight (or low light, rather) happened after that show. I had a craving for some coffee. I really wanted a latte and none of the latte-serving establishments were open, so we headed back to the Hilton hotel we were staying at to see if I could order one from room service. When I called the front desk, they said the best bet would be to brew the coffee in our room. It was Lavazza coffe, which is quite possibly one of my least favorite brews, but I was desperate so I made some. About 5 minutes after tasting the nasty concoction, I realized it was decaf—not what I wanted. So I called down to the front desk to see if they could run up some caffeinated coffee bags to our room. They said they would and we waited. About 20 minutes had passed, and there was still no knock on our door. So I called again and got a busy ring tone. Then I decided to call Room Service directly and no one answered. We waited about 30 minutes longer and then I decided to call the front desk again. The agent said they would send one up and after waiting another hour, we decided to just forego the coffee and get some rest instead. That’s negative 1,000 points for you, Paris!
We all had to say our bittersweet goodbyes the next day, but agreed that we should do something like it again sometime. It was exhilarating to get to spend a weekend away having fun times and enjoying great music with people who shared an affinity for Parachute! I was able to simultaneously make great new friends, make it past one of the most stressful events in my personal world, and still remain in one piece. The bonus was getting to eat a legit Philly cheesesteak at Jim’s Steaks before I left to come back to Seattle!